Difference between revisions of "Windows"

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
(IPX protocol deprecated: cleanup)
(Version table)
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! style="width: 160px" | Released !! style="width: 265px" | Version !! style="width: 105px" | OS build !! style="width: 155px" | ''"Friendly name"'' !! Codename
! style="width: 160px" | Released !! style="width: 265px" | Version !! style="width: 105px" | OS build !! style="width: 155px" | ''"Friendly name"'' !! Codename
| data-sort-value="2021-12-31" |          Late 2021 || Windows 11                          || TBA   || TBA   || Windows Sun Valley
| data-sort-value="2021-12-31" |          October 5, 2021 || Windows 11                          || 22000   || 21H2   || Windows Sun Valley
| data-sort-value="2021-05-18" |      May 18, 2021 || Windows 10 v21H1                    || 19043  || 21H1  || 21H1
| data-sort-value="2021-05-18" |      May 18, 2021 || Windows 10 v21H1                    || 19043  || 21H1  || 21H1

Revision as of 17:54, 16 October 2021

Windows cover
Release dates
Windows November 20, 1985
Windows at Wikipedia


Key points

The most popular and widely supported family of operating system among PC users.
Backward compatibility is high, with newer versions of the operating system capable of running decades old software with minimal issues.
Transitioned to periodic biannual major upgrades since the introduction of Windows 10.


Official support
Windows 10 Update history
Microsoft Update Catalog - Allows for manual download of updates or device drivers. See related KB article.


Microsoft Community - Official community for everything related to Microsoft
Microsoft Community Discord - Official Discord server
/r/windows10 - Subreddit dedicated to Windows 10
/r/windows - Subreddit dedicated to Windows in general


Command Prompt

The Command Prompt is the command-line interpreter provided by Microsoft for Windows systems and is the not-as-powerful equivalent of the shell in Linux and Mac OS. It can be accessed by going to 'run' and typing 'cmd.exe' or by running a 'Batch file'.

Admin Command Prompt

Windows 8 and later
  • Push Win+X, then push A.

Task Manager

The Task Manager is an application built into Windows that allows for the managing running processes as well as providing information about computer performance.

It can be accessed by any of the following ways:

  • Right-click on the taskbar of Windows and select Task Manager.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Task Manager.
  • Press Ctrl+ Shift+Esc to open it directly.

Device Manager

The Device Manager is an application built into Windows that allows for the management of device drivers. It can be accessed from the Control Panel.

Registry Editor

The Registry Editor allows users to edit the Windows registry. It can be accessed by going to 'run' and typing 'Regedit.exe'.

Basic Editing
  1. Push Win+R, type regedit, then click OK.
  2. Navigate to the desired registry key, such as HKEY_CURRENT_USER, under the Computer category.
  3. Double click on any entries on the right side, right after selecting a registry key, under the Name category, in order to edit them.
Advanced Search
  1. Download RegJump, extract it inside the root directory of the main Local Disk location.
  2. Copy any desired path into the clipboard.
  3. Open a Command prompt as an admin.
  4. Write CD YourRootFolder:\, regjump.exe and regjump -c.


The last command tells Windows to open the Registry Editor at the path which was currently stored inside the clipboard.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

A Blue Screen of Death (a.k.a BSOD or Bluescreen) is an error screen that Windows produces when it encounters an error that it cannot recover from.


DirectX is a collection of APIs for Windows that allows programs to interact directly with hardware.

.NET Framework

The .NET Framework is a software framework for Windows that is required for games built in .NET-aware languages (such as C# or Visual Basic), including those that use XNA. Different games may require different versions of .NET Framework. A list with download links for most versions can be found here[Note 1]. Windows 8 and 10 users may want to read this.


DLL stands for "Dynamic Link Library". DLL files (.dll) are Windows exclusive library files containing code and data that can be used over several applications.

While they can save time for developers, these files can cause problems for the end-user (commonly referred to as "DLL Hell").

Windows 10

Fullscreen optimizations

Available for DirectX 9 and above; automatically engaged.
Optimizations combining the benefits of classic exclusive fullscreen mode with that of borderless window mode, by utilizing flip model presentation in a maximized borderless window.
Despite information stated elsewhere online, there is currently no built-in way of system-wide disabling fullscreen optimizations for all executables in Windows 10 v1803 and later. In earlier versions settings existed tied to this in Settings > Gaming > Game bar settings page, but this is no longer the case pending a move to the Display settings > Graphics settings subpage.
Thankfully a 3rd party software developer has taken up the challenge of making it easy to adjust application compatibility settings in bulk.
Bulk Application Compatibility Editor
Demystifying Fullscreen Optimizations

Windows 10 (v1607 "Anniversary Update" and later) includes fullscreen optimizations (sometimes shortened as FSO) that attempts to convert games running in the "classic" exclusive fullscreen mode into using borderless window mode with flip model presentation instead. This optimization is completely transparent to the game, and it as well as injected tools (such as Special K) will believe and report that the game is running in exclusive fullscreen mode. This allows the use of Windows 10's Game bar as well as other system overlays in games that otherwise would not support them. A side-effect of the flip model presentation used is that it still allows the use of virtual refresh rate techniques such as G-Sync/FreeSync syncing the monitor to the frame rate despite them being configured for fullscreen only.

Earlier versions[4] of Windows 10 (v1607-1709) also tried forcing games running in regular window modes (including borderless window mode) to use flip model presentation, however this was discovered to cause issues with some games. As a result, in Windows v1803 Microsoft had disabled that aspect of the feature and limited the fullscreen optimizations to only apply for games running in exclusive fullscreen mode.[5]

Disable fullscreen optimizations for an executable
  1. Navigate to <path-to-game> and locate the executable of the game.
  2. Right-click on the executable and select Properties.
  3. Open the Compatibility tab.
  4. Check Disable fullscreen optimizations and click OK.


On Windows 10 v1803 "April Update", some users might experience an issue while using an injector based on dxgi.dll where fullscreen optimizations are forcefully enabled despite being "disabled" because of the presence of that DLL file. Using another supported DLL filename for the injector works around the issue.[6]
Check if fullscreen optimizations are being used or not
  1. Enable the Game bar of Windows 10 and verify that it can be toggled using Win+G.
  2. Launch the particular game and configure it to run in exclusive fullscreen mode, then restart the game.
  3. Allow the main menu of the game to appear, then click on Win+G and inspect the results:
    • If the screen flashes brightly twice the game is running in "classic" exclusive fullscreen mode, and fullscreen optimizations are disabled.
    • If the Game bar appears fullscreen optimizations are enabled or the "fullscreen mode" of the game is actually just a misnamed borderless window mode (typically seen with Unity-based games).


To verify whether the fullscreen mode of the game is "classic" exclusive fullscreen mode, or simply a borderless maximized window referred to as "fullscreen mode", a third-party tool such as Special K might be needed.
An alternative method to check if the Game bar is disabled is to use the volume media keys that some keyboards have. If the volume overlay appears, fullscreen optimizations are enabled. If it does not, fullscreen optimizations are disabled.

Game bar

The Game bar ( Win+G) allows easy capture recording of gameplay screenshots and video while playing a game and is enabled by default in Windows 10. Unfortunately, some games suffer from sporadic but severe FPS drops when the bar is enabled.[7]

Toggle Game bar
  1. Open Settings, click on Gaming, and navigate to the Game bar page.
  2. Toggle Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.
Toggle Game DVR background recording
  1. Open Settings, click on Gaming, and navigate to the Game DVR page.
  2. Toggle Record in the background while I'm playing a game.

Game Mode

Game Mode attempts to remove distractions while playing by applying minor changes to the behavior of Windows Update and may on some systems also help achieve a more stable frame rate in some games.[8][9]
Earlier versions of the feature also prioritized CPU and GPU resources to the game running in the foreground, but this was removed in v1803 as it was found to negatively impact some games and scenarios.[10]
Microsoft's official support article: Use Game Mode while gaming on your Windows 10 device
Toggle Game Mode for a game
  1. Launch the game.
  2. Open the Game Bar using Win+G.
  3. Use the Turn Game Mode on/off option (a speedometer icon) to toggle Game Mode.


The Game bar is not available for games running in exclusive fullscreen mode. For those games, temporarily change the display mode to windowed or borderless windowed mode and enable Game Mode, then change back to exclusive fullscreen mode.
To fix the problem when key pressing is registered with huge delay with Game Mode turned on see here

Disable driver updates delivered through Windows Update

Driver updates can only be disabled before they are actually downloaded/installed.
Not all driver updates will be listed at first, however they can be disabled gradually.
How to temporarily prevent a driver update from reinstalling in Windows 10
How to temporarily prevent a driver update from reinstalling in Windows 10 (alternative method)

Disable memory compression

Change settings in Powershell

Search for the name Powershell in the system, and launch it as administrator via RBM. Write: Get-MMAgent to check the current state of memory compression. If it's false, there is nothing to be done. It can be disabled by default while using SSD as system disk. To disable it, write: Disable-MMAgent -mc To enable, write Enable-MMAgent -mc

Disabling memory compression can increase application stability while using demanding games for CPU.[11] Although some games benefit from the memory compression enabled.

Disable "Control Flow Guard"

In Windows Defender[12]

Use this instruction and choose executable. Don't turn off CFG globally - it's a major security breach.

Fixes stuttering issues in GTA V and PUBG.
If you use another AV software, then you would naturally assume everything Defender related is disabled, and you would be wrong. If you use Defender, you will be brought to the Windows Defender Security Center straight away, but if you don't, you will end up on a Settings page saying that Windows Defender is not available because it's turned off. Click "Turn on Windows Defender Antivirus" - don't worry, your AV software will disable it again straight away.

Turn on ReadyBoost

This is only necessary on low-end devices with memory concerns, such as on machines with 4 GB RAM or less.
Configure your USB flash drive in Computer to use with ReadyBoost
  1. Plug in the USB flash drive to the computer.
  2. Open File Explorer and browse to This PC.
  3. Right-click on the USB flash drive and click on Properties.
  4. Click on the ReadyBoost tab and enable Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost.
  5. Click OK.
  6. After this, game may stutter less on 4 GB RAM configurations when in HDD/page file demanding scenarios.


Before playing, make sure that background processes and services like System, SysMain (SuperFetch), svchost.exe, Windows Update, or others, are not using the storage device as they may cause additional stuttering.
The page file on an SSD outperforms ReadyBoost, hence the feature will be unavailable on systems with SSD.

Change privacy settings

May fix stuttering when connected to the Internet.[13]
Can cause problems in Microsoft Store games such as the Forza series or for other components such as Windows Update.
Only official supported methods of changing privacy or diagnostics settings are through built-in control panels such as the Settings app or applicable group policy objects (not available for Windows 10 Home users) of the operating system. Third-party tools may introduce unexpected issues or compatibility issues due to forcefully applying system-wide changes that might not have been properly tested or accounted for.
Use Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 for Windows 10

Go to Security and Privacy and disabled all of the options under "Privacy."

Backward compatibility

Compatibility mode

See Windows Compatibility Mode for information on how to use the built-in backward compatibility mode of Windows.

DOS compatibility

For modern versions of Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit), it is recommended to use DOSBox.

If you're having trouble getting DOS games to run on older versions of NT (XP & 2000) checkout The Sierra Help Pages.
In the transition from Windows 9x to NT based versions, DOS compatibility was temporarily maintained, at least for 32-bit editions. For Windows 10 32 bit you'll need to add NTVDM support via Windows Features.[14]

Running 16 bit applications on 64 bit system

Use winevdm

Issues unresolved

Screen recorders, overlays, injectors won't work with Windows Apps

See Windows Store article for this and other Windows Apps related issues.

Hardcoded display limits in Windows 10

There are two hardcoded display limits in Windows 10:[15]

Arbitrary refresh rate hard-coded limit of 512 Hertz; this is a confirmed Microsoft Windows limitation.
Arbitrary pixel clock hard-coded limit; this may be caused by other limitation such as graphics drivers.

Issues fixed

Alt F4 doesn't terminate frozen applications

Use SuperF4

Older Games Missing .dll File on Windows Vista and later

Some .dll files have different names on Windows Vista and later.
See also DLL is missing from your computer
Copy DLL to folder
  1. Make a note of the name of the missing .dll.
  2. Go to %WINDIR%\SysWOW64 (or %WINDIR%\System32 if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows).
  3. Find the .dll that has the same name as the missing .dll but with an additional x in the name (e.g. if the game can't find dplay.dll, look for dplayx.dll).
  4. Copy that .dll into the game's installation folder (do not move it).
  5. Rename the copy to the name of the .dll that was missing (so dplayx.dll becomes dplay.dll, etc.)
  6. The game should now see the .dll and play normally.

DirectDraw is broken

This issue actually first materialized in 8.1,[16] unfortunately there is little more that can be done than use a DDraw wrapper:

DgVoodoo 2, a glide wrapper, also has a DDraw wrapper built-in.
Direct3D 8 has a very similar issue on 8.1 and later as well,[17] however the ddraw wrappers (with an exception to the ones that include a d3d8.dll) do not fix the issue as D3D8 doesn't use ddraw, being the first version of DirectX to deprecate it. Instead use a patched d3d8.dll, the DX8 to DX9 convertor or the d3d8to9 wrapper.
Users of Windows Vista and on-wards actually benefit from a DDraw wrapper due to it no longer being hardware accelerated on such systems, however the built-in DDraw wasn't completely broken until 8.1.

Older games refuse to start on Windows 8 and later

Install DirectPlay
  1. Open the Start screen, type OptionalFeatures.exe and press Enter.
  2. Expand Legacy Components.
  3. Ensure DirectPlay is checked.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.

Note: Normally Windows 8+ automatically detects if an application needs DirectPlay or other legacy components when it launches and prompts the user to install DirectPlay, but this requires a certain combination of services to be active such as the Diagnostic Policy Service which are sometimes disabled by the user.

Force CPU affinity

Prevents processes from using other CPU cores than the ones allowed, which can work around threading synchronization issues that might exist.
Provisional solution: Task manager
  1. Open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Find process for the application by Right-click on its task and press Go to process/details.
  3. Right-click on the process and select Set affinity.
  4. Deselect all other CPU cores than the ones the process should be allowed to run on. If you want to prevent the process from using Intel's Hyper-Threading (HT) or AMD's Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT) CPU cores then deselect all odd CPU cores (so 1, 3, 5, 7, etc).
  5. Click OK to apply the change. It will take effect immediately.


Task Manager does not store the tweak permanently. It needs to be reapplied each time the process launches.
Permanent solution: customized shortcut
  1. Right click on your desktop
  2. Make a new shortcut to %WINDIR%\System32\cmd.exe
  3. Open its properties and add the following to the "Target" field
/C start "" /D "<path-to-game>\" /AFFINITY 1 "<path-to-game>\game.exe"


Shortcut name and icon can be customized to match game's ones.
Additional parameters can be normally added at the end of the target field
Affinity value must be in hex. To assign more than a core check this table
For e.g. 1+2+3 (so without Core 0) cores/threads setting on application launch, the .bat is following:

Start /affinity E app.exe "E" is a hex value. To set it manually, just add corresponding "Associated value(s) (n)" from here and convert it to hex value (third option Decimal to Hex)

Permanent solution: flag game executable
  1. Download ImageCFG
  2. Place it in the same folder of the game exe
  3. Open there a command prompt and run
imagecfg -a 0x1 game.exe


Executable won't be backed up, so you'll have to back it up yourself if you wish to revert it.
Affinity value is in hex. Configuration examples are available on the download site mentioned above and also here
Modifies executable file, not compatible with some forms of Anti-Cheat and DRM.
Use PsExec
  1. Download Sysinternals's PsTools
  2. Extract PsExec in the game executable folder
  3. Run the game through the following command (command line and/or a batch file can be used)
psexec -a 0 game.exe


Additional cores can be specified with a comma after the previous ones
Use RunFirst
  1. Download RunFirst
  2. Create a shortcut to RunFirst.exe with the path to game executable as a parameter


This won't work if game requires to be launched through an external client
Windows NT, 2000 & XP only: use StartAffinity
  1. Download StartAffinity
  2. Unzip StartAffinity.exe in the WinNT or system32 directory
  3. Run the game through the following commands (command line and/or a batch file can be used)
cd <path-to-game>
StartAffinity game.exe 0


Additional cores can be specified with a space after the previous ones

4-Gigabyte Tuning

Windows XP and Server 2003 (x86 only): edit boot configuration file[18]
  1. Open command prompt under administrator privileges
  2. Type bootcfg /raw "/3GB /userva=2048" /A /ID 1 (where 1 is the boot entry id)
Windows Vista and later (x86 only): edit boot configuration database[19]
  1. Open an elevated command prompt
  2. Type BCDEdit /set increaseuserva 2048


Windows default setting of 2048MB of user-mode virtual address space is used in the examples. Higher values may be attempted at risk of various system instabilities[20][21]
Force IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE flag in executables
  1. Download Large Address Aware enabler
  2. Open it and select game executable
  3. Tick LAA checkbox and save changes


Should there be any issue, revert modification and try 4GB Patch
The tool allows to play some older 32 bit games with mods without crashing.
Works on 32 bit and 64 bit OS. Read instruction and supported games for more details.
Modifies executable file, not compatible with some forms of Anti-Cheat and DRM.

Shoddy coded applications mess system-wide registry setting

Edit key ACL
  1. Open regedit
  2. Navigate to the relevant key
  3. Right-click over it, then Permissions and Advanced
  4. Depending on your Windows version either untick Permissions inheritance from parent or press Disable Inheritance
  5. When asked, choose to add/convert/copy previous permissions to the object
  6. Click on Administrators group and edit its permissions
  7. Select changes to apply This key only
  8. Last untick Set Value advanced permission


In some situations reg flags "<key>" set DONT_VIRTUALIZE may also be needed[22][Note 2]

Codec hell

Reset DirectShow filters
  1. Download and open DirectShow Filter Manager
  2. Go to the Troubleshooting tab
  3. Select Restore standard DirectX codecs


Single filters can be adjusted with Codec Tweak Tool

Missing codecs

Install the Windows Media Source Filter automatically[23]
  1. Download the Windows Media Source Filter Installer v1.6
  2. Extract the contents from the .zip file into a folder.
  3. Right-click the ApplyPatch.bat in the folder and click "Run as Administrator".
Your anti-virus might stop the file from executing, if so, make sure you allow the program to run.
Install the Windows Media Source Filter manually[23]
  1. Download the Windows Media Source Filter Installer v1.6
  2. Extract the contents from the .zip file into a folder
  3. Make a new directory in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ called Windows-Media-Source-Filter
  4. Copy drmclien.dll, strmdll.dll and dxmasf.dll from the .zip file to the Windows-Media-Source-Filter folder.
  5. Open the DirectShow Filter Manager and register the dxmasf.dll in the Windows-Media-Source-Filter folder.
Install ffdshow[24]
Choose the release with the number of bits your troublesome application is compiled for, regardless of the actual OS instruction set
QuickTime for Windows is no more[citation needed]
Install QT Lite for apps that use Apple's codecs.

Game files missing after upgrading or refreshing Windows

Upgrading or refreshing your Windows installation will move some files and folders to a Windows.old folder on the system drive.
Retrieve files from windows.old[25]
  1. Open the Start screen/Start menu, type Computer and press Enter.
  2. Go into the system drive (usually C:).
  3. Go into the Windows.old folder.
  4. Go to the equivalent location for the files you are looking for and move them to their normal location.

Non-Unicode applications might not work properly

This is most commonly an issue with Japanese games and visual novels, and may prevent a game from being installed, launched, or even work properly (may have scrambled text or bugs).
Locale Emulator/Microsoft AppLocale runs the application with the correct localization without affecting the rest of the operating system.
Use Locale Emulator
Developed primarily for Windows 10, although it is also compatible with both 7 and 8.1.
Supports only 32-bit executables.


  1. Download Locale Emulator and extract the archive to where you want the application to be installed.
  2. Run LEInstaller.exe and select Install for current user.
  3. After the installation have finished, use LEGUI.exe to set up desired localization profiles.
  4. Finally, right-click on a 32-bit executable (or its shortcut) and select the desired profile under the Locale Emulator context menu.
Use Microsoft AppLocale
Might not work on modern versions of Windows as the tool has not been updated since 2004.


  1. Download Microsoft AppLocale here and install it.
    • With Windows versions after XP installation will fail. Simply put installer to XP SP3 compatibility mode to continue.
  2. Open AppLocale follow instructions. It should automatically detect programs language.
Change non-Unicode language system-wide[26]
Easiest way to fix the issue, but may introduce unwanted changes to other programs; especially if the display language of Windows is non-English. This includes some basic characters being incorrectly replaced, programs defaulting to set non-Unicode language and other programs suddenly not being able to launch or crash.


  1. Go to Control Panel, Clock, Language and Region and Regional and Language Options.
  2. From Administrative tab change non-unicode language to the country/localization the game originated from.
  3. Restart computer for changes to take effect.

IPX protocol deprecated

IPX was a LAN protocol commonly used with older programs, especially games. Unfortunately it was removed entirely from Vista and later with no indication of returning.
Try a wrapper (Recommended)

Try one of the following:

  • ipxemu
  • IPXWrapper
  • Kali - This one's more for tunneling IPX over the internet rather than LAN, but still works.
Copy support files from Windows XP[27]

What you need: a working installation of Windows XP sp2.

  1. Create a new folder c:\temp
  2. Copy the following files to the directory c:\temp *and* to the corresponding vista directories:

Note: You might need to open up an "elevated" command prompt, "run as administrator", (to get write access to directories).



Windows\inf\netnwlnk.inf  (*)
Windows\inf\netnwlnk.pnf  (*)

(*) The directory "inf" is hidden

3. Go to "manage network connection" (in control panel-> network). Right click your LAN adapter connection, click "install", "protocol", "Add", Do not select the IPX that is already in the list, be sure to select "have disk". Navigate to "c:\temp" and select file "netnwlnk.inf", now select "WLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS". You will get a warning it's not verifiable, install anyway (or not..). If you get an error message about a missing module, you forgot to copy the above files to the windows 7 directories.
4. Reboot computer.

Only works on 32-bit version of Vista and later.
Some parts of protocol don't even work (properties button greyed out in setting, ect.)
Support files can also be downloaded here in case you don't own XP.

Lowered volume when using background Metro/UWP apps

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Push Win+R, type mmsys.cpl, then select OK.
  2. Open the Communications tab, then select Do nothing and save.

Microsoft removed the MIDI Mapper

Over the last versions of Windows, Microsoft have slowly but steadily deprecated the original Microsoft MIDI Mapper of Windows.
Use the CoolSoft MIDIMapper[28]

SafeDisc protected games do not work with Windows 10

This exposes the system to known security vulnerabilities, and can make the system more susceptible to malicious attacks.

Previous versions of Windows included a compatible version of secdrv.sys for Macrovision SafeDisc DRM; Windows 10 does not, rendering games protected by SafeDisc unplayable. According to a Microsoft representative "Safedisc is not supported on Windows 10" and people will have to wait for Trymedia to come out with an updated kernel driver, something which is impossible as official SafeDisc support was dropped on March 30, 2009.[29][30] However a workaround is to obtain and install the kernel driver from an older version of Windows, as described below.

Install SafeDisc drivers from a previous version of Windows[31]
  1. Download the necessary files.
  2. Extract a temporary location on the system.
  3. Copy secdrv.sys to %WINDIR%\system32\drivers.
  4. Import secdrv.reg to Windows registry.
  5. As the service may still not work due to lack of a digital signature,[32] refer to these instructions to disable driver signature verification in the operating system and sign the driver with a custom digital signature.

Microstuttering in Multiplayer games

The Multimedia Class Scheduler Service has built-in network throttling which can greatly degrade performance of online games.
Edit the registry[33][34]
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile
  2. There will be an entry for network performance throttling, default value is 10 or a; set it to FFFFFFFF (will look like 0xFFFFFFFF to the right of the entry). Windows Vista and 7 users can stop here.
  3. There will be an entry for system responsiveness, default value is 20; Set it to 00000000 for pure gaming/streaming.
  4. Go down the registry tree further to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile\Tasks\Games
  5. There will be an entry for priority and GPU priority; set GPU to 8 and priority to 6.
  6. Reboot

WiFi background scan causes latency

WiFi adapters periodically perform background scans to discover additional networks. Unfortunately this induces latency, see here for more info.
Universal solution[35]

Use WLAN Optimizer.

Atheros adapters[36]
  1. Go to the Control Panel.
  2. Choose Networks and Sharing -> Change Adapter Settings (in the left column).
  3. Right-click on your Wi-Fi adapter icon and select Properties.
  4. Click Configure (under "Connect Using").
  5. Go to the Advanced tab.
  6. Set Background Scan to Disabled.
  7. Set Foreground Scan to Disabled.
Intel adapters[36]
  1. Type ncpa.cpl into the Windows search box (or type it in the start menu).
  2. This pops up the Network Connections control panel (a laptop/desktop user will probably see Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters in there).
  3. Right-click on the Wi-Fi adapter icon and select Properties.
  4. Click the Configure button on the driver property page.
  5. On the Advanced tab, scroll down the Property list and set Roaming Aggressiveness to Lowest.
  6. Click OK to all the settings pages you've just opened.

Core parking causes problems with games

Quick registry hack[37][38]
  1. Open Regedit and find key 0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583.
  2. Set key ValueMax from 64 to 0.
Quick registry hack (extended, adjustable in power settings)[39]
  1. Open Regedit and find key 0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583.
  2. Add a new key Attributes with type dword and value 00000000 or save the following as .reg file and run it to add entries:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Now adjustable in Start -> Control Panel -> Power Options -> 'Change Plan settings' -> 'Change advanced power settings' -> Processor Power Management -> Processor performance core parking min cores; 100% means all are used.

Crashes in some games

Change Data Execution Prevention setting[40]

Add a DEP Exception for your game executable. Sometimes reboot needed afterwards.

The problem of crashes occurs mostly in cases when DEP is enabled for all applications, except included on the list.

Stuttering in games on Windows 10 Creators Update 1709 and up


Once the free memory is exhausted, performance takes a big hit - games with heavy caching like BF1 suffer horribly. The only way to fix it previously was restarting the computer (thus clearing the memory), which explains why it was only happening after a while and not on a fresh boot.

  1. Download EmptyStandbyList and put it somewhere where you won't move it
  2. Right click > Properties and select Run as Admin under compatibility.
  3. Open Task Scheduler > Create Task on the far right
  4. General Tab (give it a name). Under security options > Change user or group > Advanced > Find Now > go down and choose SYSTEM (important to make it run silently in the background). Tick 'Run with highest privileges' and 'Hidden' at the bottom. Pictures here
  5. Triggers tab > New > On a schedule > One Time. Tick repeat task every 5 minutes (possibly excessive but it causes no issues). Also choose 'for the duration of: indefinitely'
  6. Actions tab > Start A program > Point to the EmptyStandbyList.exe file.
  7. Done! Standby memory is automatically cleared every 5mins.
Possibly the same result can be achieved by the tool Intelligent Standby List Cleaner. This software includes options to easily add it to Task Scheduler and can launch in a minimized to SysTray state.

Other information

Install the bundled games of Windows 7 on newer versions

While Microsoft haven't made the games bundled with older versions of Windows easily accessible to newer versions of the operating system, it is still possible to download and install these due to efforts from the community to make them compatible with newer versions of Windows.
Download and install the desired games from this article.

The package includes the following games from Windows 7:

Install 3D Pinball for Windows - Space Cadet from Windows XP on newer versions

Microsoft decided not to port the game to later versions of Windows, but you can still install it for yourself.
Download the XP Mode file from Microsoft's website and extract the Pinball game from it.[42]
  1. Download the Windows XP Mode file, and change the extension from .exe to .zip.
  2. Open the zip file with 7-zip or a similar program, and navigate to sources\xpm\VirtualXPVHD\Program Files\Windows NT inside it.
  3. Drag the Pinball folder from there to wherever you like on your computer.
  4. You can play the game by running pinball.exe inside that folder.

Speed up loading of web pages in Windows

Windows ships with the Automatically detect settings feature enabled by default for compatibility reasons to allows automatic configuration of internet connectivity in networks that supports it by using the DNS or DHCP services of said network. This option is not normally relevant for home or small network users as support for this type of automatic configuration is usually only found within corporate or academic networks that relies on some form of proxy to allow users to browse the web. The feature has in some instances been found to add noticeable delays when loading content from the Internet, and users might therefor want to disable it for troubleshooting purposes or permanently if they are connected to a network that does not rely upon it.
Disabling this feature affects all applications that relies on the internal IE subsystem of Windows, such as Google Chrome, Steam, and more.
  1. Open the Start menu and type Internet Options.
  2. Open the Connections tab, click the LAN Settings button.
  3. Uncheck the Automatically detect settings checkbox.


Re-enable the setting if you lose Internet access entirely within 48 hours.

Changing default timer resolution

This only concerns systems where the CPU is the limiting factor, and not the GPU, and can in some cases have a detrimental effect on performance.[44][45]
Use TimerTool to set the resolution to the maximum (0.500ms)
Windows 10 changes timer resolution every several dozen of seconds, so keep TimerTool enabled in the background.
On Windows 8 and CPU-limited systems, changing the timer resolution from 10ms to 0.500ms can result in upwards of 30% more FPS in Crysis 3.[46]
Other applications might already be requesting a higher resolution, such as the Steam client[47] and Discord,[47] making this tool unnecessary.[Note 3]

Disabling Spectre and Meltdown patches

Use InSpectre
May lower stuttering and FPS issues in CPU-heavy games on configurations with low RAM and older Intel CPUs (Skylake, Haswell or older).[48][49]
Restart needed after changes.
Warning: Your system will be susceptible to multiple vulnerabilities such as Spectre, Meltdown and MDS.[50]

Force the use of the motherboard microcode version instead of the one from the OS

The current microcode update version loaded into the CPU can be loaded either from the motherboard or the operating system (if newer). Because of this, it is on some computers possible to downgrade the microcode version used by the CPU by forcing the use of the version present in the motherboard if said version is older by deleting the microcode version present in the OS.
Downgrading the microcode version can in some rare cases fix stuttering in some games, such as for Fortnite on Intel i5-4690K (e.g. when the OS microcode is revision 25, and the motherboard microcode is revision 24).[51][52]
This is not generally recommended as downgrading the microcode version may result in unwanted consequences or lowered system security. Follow the instructions below at your own risk!
Within %WINDIR%\System32\, delete the mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll and/or mcupdate_AuthenticAMD.dll DLL file(s).
Current loaded microcode version in the CPU can be checked through HWiNFO64's main window > Central Processor(s) > relevant CPU > Microcode Update Revision row. Note that this value indicates which microcode version is currently loaded into the CPU regardless of source, so the microcode version may have either been loaded through the motherboard or the OS (if newer than the motherboard version).
To determine what microcode version is stored within the motherboard, consult the BIOS/UEFI settings menu and/or the motherboard manual for further instructions.

Limiting CPU usage per process

Can fix freezes due to insufficient threads or CPU in some games on dual-core CPU, such as The Witcher 3, Steel Panthers: World at War, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Download Battle Encoder Shirase[53]
  1. Run the application as administrator
  2. Target the game process after launching the game, and set the CPU to your desired percentage.
Download Process Lasso[54]

Set priority class of the game process to high

Might work in cases when Battle Encoder Shirase did not.[55]

File systems

Windows 10 has native support for 4 filesystems: NTFS, exFAT, ReFS and FAT32. The best one to install and play games on, is considered to be NTFS. exFAT has problems with some legacy games,[56] ReFS is believed to be unable to install Microsoft Store apps[57] and cannot be used as a boot drive, while FAT32 is unable to store individual files larger than 4 GiB (Many modern games have .pak files considerably larger than 4 GB).

Additionally, there are two so-called disk types supported by Windows: GPT and MBR. GPT is the official recommendation for Windows 10 and enables the use ≥2 TB hard drives and ≥5 primary partitions on the same drive; but many older drives that were involved in upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10, still remain as MBR. Converting a drive from MBR→GPT is not easy, let alone with free-of-charge tools and without data loss. gptgen is one of very few free-of-charge tools that can accomplish this. The freeware version of AOMEI Partition Assistant are believed to accomplish it for non-boot drives, necessitating dismounting the drive from the original PC and placing it in a second PC as a non-boot drive, in order to convert boot drives.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

As of early July 2021, it is believed that the upcoming releases of Windows 11 will require a feature referred to as TPM 2.0, a hardware chip that improves the OS security and encryption abilities. PCs built around 2015 or later have the feature built-in on their motherboards, but they are not enabled by default in BIOS.

Enable TPM in BIOS[58]
  1. Turn off the PC.
  2. Turn it on again and press Delete repeatedly a few times to enter BIOS settings.
  3. If applicable, set BIOS to "Advanced Mode".
  4. The exact position of the TPM setting, differ between motherboard producers, but are usually found in Security Settings or similarly named menus.
  5. The exact name also differs. Most AMD motherboards call it fTPM, MSI Intel motherboards call it simply TPM, while other Intel motherboards are reported to be calling it PTT.

Version table

Windows 10

Released Version OS build "Friendly name" Codename
October 5, 2021 Windows 11 22000 21H2 Windows Sun Valley
May 18, 2021 Windows 10 v21H1 19043 21H1 21H1
October 20, 2020 Windows 10 v20H2 19042 October 2020 Update 20H2
May 27, 2020 Windows 10 v2004 19041 May 2020 Update 20H1
November 12, 2019 Windows 10 v1909 18363 November 2019 Update 19H2
May 21, 2019 Windows 10 v1903 18362 May 2019 Update 19H1
November 13, 2018 Windows 10 v1809 17763 October 2018 Update Redstone 5
April 30, 2018 Windows 10 v1803 17134 April 2018 Update Redstone 4
November 17, 2017 Windows 10 v1709 16299 Fall Creators Update Redstone 3
April 5, 2017 Windows 10 v1703 15063 Creators Update Redstone 2
August 2, 2016 Windows 10 v1607 14393 Anniversary Update Redstone 1
November 10, 2015 Windows 10 v1511 10586 November Update Threshold 2
July 29, 2015 Windows 10 v1507 10240 Windows 10 Threshold 1
Also known as being version NT 10.0.

Previous versions

Released Version OS build Release version Codename
October 17, 2013 Windows 8.1 9600 NT 6.3 Blue
October 26, 2012 Windows 8 9200 NT 6.2 '8'
October 22, 2009 Windows 7 7600 NT 6.1 Windows 7
January 30, 2007 Windows Vista 6000 NT 6.0 Longhorn
April 25, 2005 Windows XP Professional x64 Edition 3790 NT 5.2 ?
October 25, 2001 Windows XP 2600 NT 5.1 Whistler
September 14, 2000 Windows Me 3000 4.90 Millennium
February 16, 2000 Windows 2000 2195 NT 5.0 Windows NT 5.0
June 25, 1998 Windows 98 2222 A 4.10 Memphis, ChiCairo
August 24, 1996 Windows NT 4.0 1381 NT 4.0 Shell Update Release (SUR)
August 24, 1995 Windows 95 950 4.00 Chicago
May 30, 1995 Windows NT 3.51 1057 NT 3.51 ?
September 21, 1994 Windows NT 3.5 807 NT 3.5 Daytona
November 22, 1993 Windows 3.2 153 3.2 ?
November 8, 1993 Windows for Workgroups 3.11 300 3.11 Snowball
July 27, 1993 Windows NT 3.1 528 NT 3.1 Razzle
April 6, 1992 Windows 3.1 103 3.10 ?
May 22, 1990 Windows 3.0 ? 3.00 ?
March 13, 1989 Windows 2.11 ? 2.11 ?
May 27, 1988 Windows 2.10 ? 2.10 ?
December 9, 1987 Windows 2.03 ? 2.03 ?
April 10, 1987 Windows 1.04 ? 1.04 ?
August 21, 1986 Windows 1.03 ? 1.03 ?
May 14, 1986 Windows 1.02 ? 1.02 ?
November 20, 1985 Windows 1.0 ? 1.01 ?


  1. There are only 3 major .NET CLR versions[1][2][3] that at worst should be needed to be installed.
  2. Running with the RunAsInvoker compat layer effectively discounts any application manifest consideration here.
  3. Users can run powercfg /energy in an elevated command line prompt to generate a power efficiency diagnostics report in Windows which will gather data for a minute. After a minute have passed, check the report in C:\WINDOWS\system32\energy-report.html to identify (labeled Platform Timer Resolution:Outstanding Timer Request) which running processes requested a higher resolution and what resolution they requested.


  1. Frequently Asked Questions About the .NET Framework 1.1 - MSDN (retrieved)
  2. .NET Framework & Windows OS versions | Microsoft Docs
  3. .NET Versioning and Multi-Targeting - .NET 4.5 is an in-place upgrade to .NET 4.0 - Scott Hanselman
  4. Reddit - BUG: DX9/DX11 Games do not enter Independent FLIP mode presentation in builds newer than 1709 in borderless mode. - last accessed on 2020-07-21
    "I ran presentmon and compared borderless games from 1709, and 1803-1903, and it seems all newer builds than 1709 run games in borderless as COPY with GPU GDI"
  5. Reddit - BUG: DX9/DX11 Games do not enter Independent FLIP mode presentation in builds newer than 1709 in borderless mode. - MSFTJesse (Jesse Natalie @ Microsoft's DirectX team) - last accessed on 2020-07-21
    "FYI, this is by design. There are some behaviors that flip model (a prereq for independent flip) cannot replicate. The fact that they used to get upgraded to flip model in windowed mode (note that from the API point of view, borderless windowed is still just windowed) meant that there was a risk of breaking some games. As we're trying to more broadly enable the use of independent flip for all apps, that risk became unacceptable, so we enabled the promotion to only apply while the games are in fullscreen exclusive mode."
  6. Verified by User:Aemony on 2018-08-19
    I have now experienced this on two different systems, with both Special K and ReShade while injected into games using "dxgi.dll", despite fullscreen optimizations being disabled.
  7. How to fix CS 30 FPS cap after Windows 10 anniversary update! :: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive General Discussions
  8. Xbox Support - Use Game Mode while gaming on your Windows 10 device - last accessed on 2020-05-09
    "When you use Game Mode, Windows prioritizes your gaming experience. When you’re running a game, Game Mode:
    • Prevents Windows Update from performing driver installations and sending restart notifications.
    • Helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system."
  9. Reddit - /r/pcgaming - hamiltonia comments on Does Windows 10 Game Mode still hurt performance? - last accessed on 2020-05-09
    "In these later builds Game Mode is intended to help by removing distractions while playing. In particular it tries to stop Windows Update from updating drivers and stops it from notifying you of non-critical updates. It also causes the CPU to run at a minimum of 100% (on desktop, not laptops) to help reduce CPU fluctuations which may cause performance issues."
  10. Reddit - /r/pcgaming - hamiltonia comments on Does Windows 10 Game Mode still hurt performance? - last accessed on 2020-05-09
    "In the latest versions of Windows (1809 & 1903) Game Mode no longer does GPU/CPU prioritization. This prioritization was intended to give more resources to the running game at the cost of background processes, but we found it impacted some games and other scenarios. As an example streaming was impacted in apps like OBS because we were starving them of resources needed to encode."
  11. [1] Blog entry of memory compression tests
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/PUBATTLEGROUNDS/comments/8jgz6g/disabling_control_flow_guard_in_windows_defender/
  13. https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3oatuw/those_of_you_gaming_on_windows_10_heres_how_i/cvw1e62/
  14. https://superuser.com/a/1334200/1040956
  15. Microsoft Windows 512Hz Limit And Pixel Clock Limit | Blur Busters
  16. DirectDraw emulation still broken in Windows 10
  17. Fullscreen mode in Direct3D8 games on Windows 10
  18. /3GB (Windows Drivers) - Microsoft Developer Network
  19. BCDEdit /set (Windows Drivers) - Microsoft Developer Network
  20. The oft-misunderstood /3GB switch – The Old New Thing
  21. Kernel address space consequences of the /3GB switch – The Old New Thing
  22. Windows Vista File and Registry Virtualisation – Richard's Weblog
  23. 23.0 23.1 Monopoly Tycoon Music Fix | mrpenguinb's blog
  24. Tomb Raider 6 Modding Thread - www.tombraiderforums.com
  25. Retrieve files from the Windows.old folder - Microsoft Windows Help
  26. Change the system locale - Windows Help
  27. IPX on Windows 7
  28. http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/blog/2013/03/what-happened-midi-mapper-windows-8
  29. Microsoft Community Forums :: Age of Mythology - Windows 10
  30. SafeDisc End-of-Life Notice - Trymedia - Wayback Machine - last accessed on 2018-07-26
  31. Verified by User:KyoriAsh on 2018-07-19
  32. Microsoft Community - SECDRV.SYS Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of older games. - replies by EricSoAndSo - last accessed on 2019-04-18
  33. http://www.sevenforums.com/gaming/31980-lag-online-games-windows-7-a.html
  34. http://forum.sudden-strike-alliance.fr/all-problem-with-lag-on-windows-7-and-10-t2807.html
  35. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/is-there-any-way-to-stop-windows-10-from-scanning/3870b3d1-0f07-4875-8779-bb5c11fce0a8
  36. 36.0 36.1 https://superuser.com/questions/881880/turn-off-wi-fi-scanning-on-windows-8
  37. http://forum.cakewalk.com/Windows-7-amp-Core-Parking-a-better-way-to-Turn-It-OFF-m1861804.aspx
  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucMqc5ilG7Q
  39. https://www.overclock.net/forum/297-general-processor-discussions/1544554-core-parking-windows-disable-more-performance.html
  40. https://raymanpc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=27571
  41. https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/7a0763/standby_memory_issue_causing_stutters_on_creators/
  42. How-To Geek - Why Microsoft Dropped 3D Pinball From Windows (and How to Bring It Back)
  43. Reddit Gaming Subreddit - Make Big Picture Quicker
  44. Microsoft Docs - timeBeginPeriod function - last accessed on 2019-05-31
  45. Random ASCII - Windows Timer Resolution: Megawatts Wasted - last accessed on 2019-05-31
  46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hcuYiqib9I&feature=youtu.be&t=365
  47. 47.0 47.1 Verified by User:Aemony on 2019-05-31
  48. Understanding the performance impact of Spectre and Meltdown mitigations on Windows Systems - Microsoft Security - last accessed on 2020-09-15
  49. Benchmarks for all the security patches and microcode updates on a Skylake 6700K : hardware - last accessed on 2020-09-15
  50. Protect against speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in Windows client copy - last accessed on 2020-09-15
  51. https://www.purepc.pl/rozrywka/wkrotce_beta_gears_of_war_5_znamy_wymagania_sprzetowe_na_pc#comment-586406
  52. Updating microcodes guide
  53. https://steamcommunity.com/app/271260/discussions/1/1733213724896236461/?ctp=2#c1638675549025826379
  54. {{Refurl|url=https://steamcommunity.com/app/271260/discussions/1/1733213724896236461/
  55. https://steamcommunity.com/app/271260/discussions/1/1733213724896236461/#c1733213724897130747
  56. How can I fool Steam to think my exFat drive is NTFS? - last accessed on 2021-07-03
  57. What I learned after 30 minutes with ReFS - last accessed on 2021-07-03
  58. Verified by User:Dandelion Sprout on 2021-07-03